Bud Mitchell loved to sell cars. If you are from east central Illinois, chances are he sold you or a family member at least one. In fact, during his 46 years in the auto business he sold over 30,000 cars and trucks. However, all good things must come to an end, and on the evening of November 19th, 2020, he made his final trade at 93 years of age after succumbing to complications of COVID-19.
Bud was not always the iconic hometown car dealer that he came to be. Charles William “Bud” Mitchell was born June 24, 1927, to Walter and Iva Mitchell of Greenup, Illinois. At the age of four he tragically lost his mother to Tuberculosis. As a result, Bud and his sister Kathleen “Kack” (Easton) went to live with their father's family while baby sister Wilma (Clark) was raised by their mother’s family, Elva and Launce Conrad of Toledo, Illinois. He attended Greenup Schools where he excelled in basketball. He tried twice (unsuccessfully) to join the Navy as an underage recruit. In 1945 Bud graduated from high school, and the day after he turned 18 he enlisted in the Army to serve his country. Bud served in Frankfurt, Germany, and attained the rank of Battalion Sergeant Major before being honorably discharged in 1947.
After returning home from the war, Bud and Patricia Barger were married on August 30, 1947. They were blessed with three children: Jeff, Debbie, and Priscilla. Bud worked for Forest Oil Company in the fields near Casey before starting his 19-year career with Tuscola-based USI. In addition to his full-time job, Bud opened a business selling used cars and trucks in Greenup.
When the opportunity arose to buy the local Chevrolet dealership in 1971, Bud jumped at the chance. He went to the bank for a loan only to be turned down because the banker did not believe he would be successful as a new car dealer. Bud was not easily dissuaded, and when the owners later offered to sell the dealership on contract, he excitedly accepted the opportunity and opened CW Mitchell Chevrolet. Proving to be a man with great vision and strong work ethic, he and his wife Patricia built a very successful business that has continued for three generations. That family legacy continues today through his son Jeff and late wife Karen Mitchell.
Bud demonstrated his favorite mottos “Good Lord willing” and “be a little kinder than necessary” by helping countless families throughout the area. Bud was a notoriously great pool player. He also loved his John Deere tractor and enjoyed spending time at his family’s Centennial farm north of Greenup. Bud was immensely proud of his family and could be found with them each year at the Cumberland County Fair. He is survived by his children: Jeff Mitchell, Debbie (Patrick) Kuhn and Priscilla Schrock, seven grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and sisters Kathleen Easton and Wilma (Junior) Clark. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Patricia Mitchell, and daughter-in-law Karen Mitchell.
Bud was a member of the Cumberland County Sportsman’s Club, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Private family services will be held Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at the Barkley Funeral Chapel with Graveside services immediately following at Harmony Cemetery. Memorial donations in his honor may be made to the Greenup American Legion or Greenup VFW. Online condolences can be expressed at www.barkleyfuneralchapels.com
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